So, the amazon kindle is now available in the UK and of course the hype has all been around whether this is the final end to the traditional book. To which, as any reasonable person will reply, the answer is no.

However, it is an interesting development, and in my mind, possibly a very real opportunity for first time writers. In much the same way as the iPod and music downloading as made it easier for new musicians to get a fan base, so the Kindle could help first time writers self-publish their work and reach an audience. Yes, you could argue that ebooks could erode author’s royalties still further. Really? Author’s royalties are already pretty eroded. A standard rate would be 10% of RRP – if you’re lucky. With the store discounts, its more likely to be 10% of net which is possibly more in the region of 50-60p, maybe. So if a writer puts a book out there themselves (I’m assuming here that it is, or will be, possible for authors to put their own books onto amazon/Kindle for download) and they sell it, you could be earning £1 (or more?) per download. And if you go up the charts (?) then maybe publishers will take them up for that print deal…?

Certainly a technology worth keeping an eye on.